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This is a letter we saw in the Advertiser a few days ago [Feb 8]. We couldn’t find a link so we are copying it out.
The Valley: Not much here to look at
It wasn’t for lack of effort our Valley’s tourist value will be soon finished – right about when all the roadside developments are!
I thank Leslie Wade and the organizers and councillors who have continued to fight the good fight to maintain farmland.
However, thanks to Kings County council’s vote Feb. 1 tourists now will be able to drive up from Halifax to see – strip malls and backyard swings! Really worth the drive.
Isn’t it wonderful four already fortunate, long term land-owning heirs were allowed (by some unresponsive councillors and a warden) to take their family legacy from their own heirs, and the most beautiful views of the Valley from the public? Chaching!
Shame on those councillors and our warden.
It is signed with the writer’s name and a location indicated as Grand Pre.
Let us think about Grand Pre for a minute. It has a gas station, and a motel and cafe, and a couple of wineries with shops attached, one with a restaurant, an antique store or two, B & Bs, a horse stable, and nearby JustUs coffee roastery and the Tangled Gardens shop/factory which makes jams, jellies etc. It also has a major interpretive centre. These are commercial or institutional establishments. It also has some recent residential building (duplexes). We suspect none of these “developments” (except perhaps the stable) would be allowed presently in the farmland zoning the SOS people are fighting to keep.
Does Mr. Robinson LIKE Grand Pre? We suspect he does. Does he consider it attractive to tourists? We do. Perhaps Greenwich might like to “develop” some of those things as well. Would a market similar to Pete’s Frootique be attractive? Perhaps a good bakery? Tourists are attracted by “things to do” not just by “views” of farmland.
Why is it that the land west of Eden Row can be “developed” but not the land east of Eden Row?
We think what the writer is worried about is the TYPE of development (“strip malls and back-yard swings”). That is yet to be approved and is still up for debate and input. Supporting infrastructure is an issue. It is hoped good decisions will be made.
And we think the bee keeper could be grandfathered.
David Daniels, one of our regular readers, made a submission at the recent meeting on the re-zoning of Greenwich land . He has sent his full presentation to us for publication since media reports of necessity leave out much of the detail. It is 39 pages and in pdf format so we have attached it as a link below rather than copy it all in.
We do copy below this portion – what Mayor Stead said the Town concerns were.
In a letter to then Warden Fred Whalen, dated October 25, 2010, the Mayor of the Town of Wolfville, Robert Stead, sets out the Town’s concerns about the proposal and why it may have a negative impact upon the Town and the general region. The concerns are: (1) Infrastructure costs. It would be better for development to take place in existing growth centres in Kings County. “There is likely significant extra capacity within all the Kings County growth centres including the Towns of Kentville and Berwick. Development can take place in the existing growth centres without the need to extend off site services and in many cases infill development can take place without the need for any additional on-site services as well.” (2) There is a need to preserve all farmland. The proposal’s attempt to preserve best soils through the designation of Urban Agriculture will likely not achieve that end. (3) Development in existing growth centres has sustainability advantages. (4) Social/Cultural Issues. The existing growth centres represent the heart of social and cultural interaction and the creation of another growth centre will weaken the existing growth centres. (5) Lifestyle/Health Issues. “Development in Greenwich, away from the existing commercial centres, will not encourage this healthy lifestyle.”
Our emphasis, not Mr. Daniels. And here is our Translation:”‘Canada Lives Here‘ in Wolfville and that’s the way it should stay even though it costs an arm and a leg. We need the taxes so we can continue spending like there is no tomorrow.”
We wish these issues were adjudicated rationally instead of with the emotion betrayed at the meeting. Candles and a soulful rendition of Amazing Grace are sweet but don’t cut the mustard when it comes to significant decisions like this one.
There goes close to three quarters of a million tax dollars. [Cue a giant sucking sound.]
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency issued a statement today saying the agency will hand $220,000 to the Winery Association of Nova Scotia.
The money, from the agency’s Innovative Communities Fund, is for development of a marketing strategy.
Meanwhile, the Wolfville farmers market will soon have a new, year-round home thanks to a $250,000 federal investment.
The money will be used to renovate the DeWolfe Building, a former apple warehouse.
Additional funding for the project includes $245,000 from Nova Scotia’s Agriculture Department and $3,000 from the Town of Wolfville. [CTV]
A near half million from 3 levels of government for the Wolfville Farm Market? Investment they call it. BS. We don’t think there will be much coming back into the government coffers.
Senator Kelvin Ogilvie made the announcement in Wolfville on Saturday. For shame! We don’t appreciate our tax money being doled out to Business bums. We don’t agree with Corporate welfare. We would prefer to see money spent on fair policies which create an environment where every business has an opportunity to succeed and perhaps even grow. Or real investment into R&D , into innovation which might create viable new industries or businesses.
Instead we see all levels of government pumping large amounts of money into favoured groups. We think the wineries are doing very well without this spending thank you very much. In the case of the Wolfville market, we thought we saw ads on TV warning against the underground economy and here they are supporting this tax free zone with tax dollars!!! Shocking!
Will a farmer growing corn get this kind of infusion? Do the dollars given the Wolfville market help Elderkins, Stirlings, Hennigers or Noggins Corner who have managed to survive in spite of all the regulatory obstacles governments put in their way? No, worse than that, it helps their competition! Is this a fair game? Is it fair when one team is playing uphill and the other team gets extra players?
And it is all our tax money, not just the 3K from Wolfville, money from 3 different pockets. It is tax money also from HRM residents, and from some poor sods out west. We can bet they can think of a few other things they would rather see their share spent on.
You disappoint us Kelvin.
The pitchforks are out. It is a pretty uneven battle. On one side are those of influence who want to preserve the bucolic landscape we love (some of us after making our livelihoods and fortunes elsewhere – probably somewhere urban).
On the other side are the farmers (at least some of them) who can’t seem to do well and think they have property rights. Poor sods. They should know we Canadians don’t really have property rights. They aren’t enshrined in the infamous Charter and if farmers want to sell their land for a purpose other than farming, it’s just too bad. Because the land is zoned agricultural and that is that. Zoning is sacrosanct. When it suits us that is. Or until government confiscates the land for something in the “common good”, say an airport or a Walmart or a wind farm.
In Wolfville agricultural land has been bought and sold for all kinds of purposes for generations. Half the properties around here were once farmlands or orchards. It wasn’t that long ago that the Woodman Grove development was approved. Wasn’t there an orchard there? But that is different, of course. We know better now.
Families who cashed in early were winners and we who followed have a right to benefit from any increase in value due to the new use. That is as it should be. Those families who maintained a farm for a hundred years or more instead of selling out when they could, when we were less enlightened, too bad for them.
So farmers, don’t rain on our parade. We like having you around. Your farms are quaint and a source of fresh veggies in season. We like to have you right next door so we can look out on green fields and fruit trees. Except when you smell and create noise and spray things; we retain the right to complain loudly about that and stop it if we can.
Never mind that we vote for people and policies that don’t actually support your business. Farms and farmers have to be over taxed like any other business and closely regulated. Get serviced by municipal water and sewage systems? No way. Pay for your own. And no Bio solids or pesticides or hormones or GM foods. You farmers have to watch your waste and fertilization practices to save our water. Costly yes, but we have a right to safe, fresh, cheap food and clean water. Not profitable? Oh, that’s too bad. So sorry. We’ll write a letter to the paper when your hog farm goes bust.
You say we are having our cake and eating it too? Why not? It’s at your expense not ours. Admit that our position is self -serving? Don’t think so. Hypocritical because we love to shop at Super store and Future shop? No way, we are saving the planet and our children’s patrimony.
Ramona Jennex held an open house at her constituency office a week or so ago. Apparently LOTS and LOTS of people were there. Just not the right people. It was a hug in.
This video interview is enlightening. Kirk Staratt indicates a number of issues in Kings South which he thought were of concern including the future of Wolfville school, the layoffs at ACA, and farm land use issues which attendees at the open house might have brought up. But apparently those many people who attended didn’t have any issues.
Most of issues I am hearing are celebratory issues..
She mentions the funding for the farm market and how happy everyone was with that. That tells us exactly who was there, that there weren’t any real farmers at the open house. And it tells us that perhaps Ramona didn’t see all the negative comments about this expenditure of taxpayer money, how it doesn’t really help farmers or other businesses, scathing remarks which appeared following the online article in the CH (link has expired sadly)
And the concerns about the school? People were “very assured” that the issue would be taken care of by the school board.
“I’m not hearing any concerns at this point… I’m hearing optimism… people knowing there is a process in place and this process is being applied. “
And it appears there weren’t any ACA workers at the open house either or they were mute.
“I didn’t hear anyone talk today about ACA …
Today, I didn’t hear any really big concerns,” she said. “It was actually more of a celebration today, and I was really glad to hear that.
Kirk insists on talking about real issues – so what about agricultural land issues and development pressures. Her thoughts? She refers to a Committee. She couldn’t remember the names but Kirk must have looked them up to put in the text article accompanying the video.
...the new Agricultural Land Review Committee …. Jennex said she was happy to be able to name two members to the committee, which includes Rick Williams of Salt Springs, Pictou County; and John Van de Reit of Shubenacadie, Hants County; Bill Swetnam of Centreville, Kings County; Patricia Bishop of Port Williams, Kings County; and Lise LeBlanc of Newport, Hants County. …
“They’re meeting with people across Nova Scotia looking at the issue of land,” she said. “When they come back with their recommendations, the Department of Agriculture and myself will be looking at those recommendations.”
What is the most challenging issue, Kirk asks.
” time …I don’t want to use the words issues. I want to use the word projects…. The forward thinking of people in Kings South is unbelievable … I brag about this all the time…. for example in Wolfville, the town just gave away land for Habitat for Humanity. …”
There you go. Bring forward your favorite charity and the taxpayer will shell out for it.
“They are very progressive here in Kings South.”
Town builders obviously. The rest aren’t heard from.
Not only tax free but now already tax funded as well! We knew this would happen. According to this announcement, the Wolfville Farmer’s market is one of several “enterprises” receiving welfare funding from us, the taxpayers. Not that WE have any say in the decision.
Agriculture Minister John MacDonell announced $430,984 in funding today, Dec. 22, to help strengthen local food direct marketers’ infrastructure and sustainability.
The funding is provided through the Direct Marketing Community Development Trust Fund, which aims to increase consumer access to local products and help agriculture businesses sell more directly to consumers. …
– Wolfville Farmers’ Market, in Wolfville, Kings Co., to develop a long-term, fixed location that will accommodate growing popularity and increase opportunities to access and marketlocal food products.[emph ours]
We aren’t quite sure why popularity should have anything to do with it. If it is so popular why does this enterprise need help? AND we don’t really think this market is necessary to increase access to local food products in this area. There are plenty of other outlets, real farm markets, built and paid for by farmers [who pay taxes] that provide that access. We don’t think Just Us coffee counts as a local food product do you? Not to mention that many of the vendors aren’t selling food products at all.
The funds are provided through the Community Development Trust Fund, a $34.9-million program established in 2008 by the federal government to help communities and sectors experiencing economic challenges.
Federal money, from our federal tax pocket. This report doesn’t specifically say how much Wolfville’s farm market will pocket but the figure of $250, 000 has been rumoured.
What we don’t understand is why other businesses aren’t “up in arms” and demanding tax relief , free rent, and government funding as well. We can only think that perhaps they are proud of the fact that they can stand on their own two feet and don’t have to go crawling to government to give them hand outs.